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Mike Flanagan Had Pitch Rejected for a Horror-Leaning Batman Villain Movie in the DCEU

Mike Flanagan has made a name for himself as one of the best in the business when it comes to TV horror shows, but he almost brought a darker side to the DCEU when pitching a horror-orientated Clayface movie to Warner Bros. However, the venture didn’t get off the ground even though Flanagan had a number of other ideas for a more mature path.

It is quite ironic that James Gunn and Peter Safran seem to be taking the new DCU down both a family friends path and also a more mature R-rated one at the same time. However, when Mike Flanagan, who was behind Netflix hits such as The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, met with WB to discuss potentially bringing out some of DC’s darker characters, the producer at the time didn’t really “grab” any of the writer’s ideas. While appearing on the Script Apart podcast, Flanagan recalled:

“I went into Warner Bros. to have the meeting about DC. It was a general meeting with [producer] Jon Berg talking about whether there was anything in the DC Universe that I could be a fit for… I really want[ed] to do Clayface. I went in and said, ‘You know, if you want to do some horror-leaning DC stuff, boy do I have a great take on Clayface. I’d love to do that movie.’ And then if not, I wanted to talk about Scarecrow and Justice League Dark and Constantine, and I kind of threw everything up there and then said, ‘As a child, I used to dress up as Superman, because that was my hero — Christopher Reeve Superman was my hero.’ And the meeting kind of went nowhere. [Berg] didn’t really grab onto any of that stuff.”

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There are plenty of people who believe that everything happens for a reason, and despite the DCEU missing out on some Mike Flanagan horror, that has probably been a good thing in the long run. With the old DCEU now on the way out, Flanagan’s ideas may have ended up being consigned to history with it. Instead, the writer-director has created a number of popular projects a Netflix and now has a huge deal with Amazon to look forward to.

Also on the horizon for Flanagan is the potential project of a lifetime if he gets to take on his dream job of bringing Stephen King’s Dark Tower to screens in the way it was originally intended – as a multi-platform spanning epic. While the project would not be part of the Amazon deal that Flanagan has just signed, it could still end up finding a home with the streaming giant, which has already taken on some huge fantasy shows like Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and The Wheel of Time.

In the end, that is still a long way off right now, but it won’t be too long before Flanagan is delivering his next horror offering one way or the other. It is just a shame it won’t be as part of a DCU horror franchise.


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